Monday, April 28, 2008

more from the Compassion Advocacy Conference....

Roberto's Sunday Morning Message....

Judeges 6:12-17 12 When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior." 13 "But sir," Gideon replied, "if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, 'Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?' But now the LORD has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian." 14 The LORD turned to him and said, "Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?" 15 "But Lord , [a] " Gideon asked, "how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family." 16 The LORD answered, "I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together." 17 Gideon replied, "If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me.

Gideon lived in a very tricky time in Israel.

  • We are warriors and soldiers in this time, sometimes it's us (Christians) against the world.

"When I/you are scared I/you are not productive..." The Israelites were scared and therefore they were in hiding.

  • As a Christian we are not to be scared - scripture tells us this over 365 times, it says this because if we are scared we will not be productive in doing God's work.

When I/you have fear the enemy steals everything from me/you... Sometimes you/we are so scared we don't do anything about it.

God is my/your protector and is not going to allow the enemy to take anything from me. God has a plan for me/you.

God did not call Gideon a sissy boy, because he was in hiding, instead; he called him a mighty warrior. God did this because he knew what he could do in him, not what Gideon thought he could do.

God sees what his power can do in my life - not what I can see.

Christians are not allowed to be or supposed to be sarcastic, because no matter what it is an insult to the other person. Gideon was being sarcastic with Christians we are sometimes even sarcastic with God. God gives us life and health, when something happens in our life, then we get sarcastic with God. (ex. "Sure my life was going great Lord and then we just HAD to let this happen to me...WHAT for??? WHAT did I do to deserve this??!!!) But God is patient with me/us and I/we need to take some things from God. He pursues and is pursuing his plan in my/your life.

Your calling gives you authority!!!

It doesn't matter who we are or where I/you come from, because God takes the least and puts

them I first place.

Your word has power!! We encourage others however, what do we say to ourselves - quite often we are our own worst enemy - God can take it (you) and do ANYTHING!!

God said you are going to do it because I am sending you!!! He is not giving you a choice.

Apostle = one who God sends - I/you are an apostle because God is sending me/you.

If God is first to go ahead of me/you, then you will always have victory.

God says you will defeat them because I will be with you, you will destroy because I am going to strike them down.

When you know that God is in your life you react in a different way.

  • At this point in his message Roberto told us the story of a family that he met while in a community in El Salvador with an American team. There was extreme poverty all around, the family was living in a cardboard shack beside a sludgey, sewer filled river. The sludge from the river had begun to seep inside the house. The smell was vile and grotesque. Upon entering the home Roberto and the team meet the mother of 5 children. They begin to talk about the family and the children. The mother tells them that she and her children and their father are all strong christians, who believe that because of Jesus they have the hope of all hopes. Roberto said he found himself becoming sarcastic with God inside his head...and then the youngest child came into the home. Upon her entry Roberto and the team all noticed that the 2 year old little girl was completely bald. Roberto looked at the mother and asked is it Cancer? The mother noticed the look of sorrow that had entered the team's eyes. She quickly said yes, itis Cancer....but we are not worried about it. WE know that God is in control and that he is going to heal her. WE all go to the church daily and pray for her healing, we know that his hands are on her life. This family had no money for medical treatment, this two year old girl should have for al intensive purposes been "dying"!! But, she wasn't and she didn't, now over three years later she is cancer free, her family believed and reacted in a positive way rather than being sarcastic with God.

Sometimes things happen in our lives that make us want to hide - but because God is with me/you I/you can live like I have EVERYTHING!!

God is not my/your servant. He does not work the way that I/you want him to, I am his servant he will work in me/you the way he wants to!!

The best worship is done in some of the "worst" moments of your life. By worshiping the Lord in the "worst"moment of your life, you bring the greatest scarifice of praise.

So instead of getting sarcastic in tough times with God - worship him.

God is not about feelings he is about believing.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Why Compassion??? (Compassion Advocacy Conference)

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Compassion Canada's Advocacy Conference, in Vancouver, at the Granville Island Hotel. I learned so many things and heard so many statistics that have changed my life forever!! Besides hearing from Angelina and Tracy from the Compassion Canada London office, we had a speaker by the name of Roberto Medrano, for the weekend all the way from the Compassion Field Office in El Savador. The stories that he shared with us, are ones that will impact my life forever!!! They will change who I am as one of God's children. In this post and the next few I am going to share with you my notes from his talks ( I hope they make sense) and also post some of my pictures from the conference. I pray that God would bless you the way that he has blessed me, my prayer is also that if you have not already sponsered a child that you would let me help you do that!!!

Saving a Generation...

The word compassion translates from Greek as the following, feeling the sorrow/pain with more intensity then the sufferer.

We choose to allow the small, sometimes trivial things in our lives to bring us down. Roberto told story after story of children who had NOTHING in the worldly sense, even some who lack the love of a even one parent and yet he said that you can go into Compassion project after compassion project around the world and you will find children with true joy and peace because of the love and hope that they have in Jesus Christ.

Because of Jesus we have a burning fire in our that can not be extinguished. What do we do with our fire??? SAVE A GENERATION!! We are called to save a generation. Exodus 2:1-10 1 Now a man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman, 2 and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. 3 But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. 4 His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him. 5 Then Pharaoh's daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the river bank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her slave girl to get it. 6 She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. "This is one of the Hebrew babies," she said. 7 Then his sister asked Pharaoh's daughter, "Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?" 8 "Yes, go," she answered. And the girl went and got the baby's mother. 9 Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you." So the woman took the baby and nursed him. 10 When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh's daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, "I drew him out of the water."

What to do to save a generation? The target of the devil is children and teenagers because the things that happen in childhood will affect your WHOLE life.

Moses' mother did four things:

1. The most amazing opportunity (Jesus) The biggest treasure you can give to someone especially a child is Jesus Christ.

2. Structure that made the the baby stay afloat. In order that children can stay afloat we need to give them structure.

3. She made a waterproof basket. We need to do this (world= river) filling a child's life with Jesus makes them waterproof.

4. She filled the basket with faith that God would protect the baby. By being an advocate on behalf the children we are providing them with the opportunity to have faith in Jesus. We are proof of Jesus love to them.

The Most Amazing Opportunity:

Compassion is a ministry -

  • We are not ashamed of the gospel
  • We know the answer to all problems is Jesus Christ
  • We work exclusively with the church

Helping the poor is not an option its an obligation

  • We don't seperate the programs from Jesus, we intergrate our programs with Jesus.
  • Christ-centered

Opposite of poor= opportunity

Structure that makes them stay afloat

Programs that teach them (children) about Jesus' love and his sacrifice and Christian-living and letters from the sponsers...Letters are very important to the overall emotional health of the children.

Making them waterproof

How can we make them waterproof? The following story was told by Roberto about a boy named Jose. Compassion Today January 2008 - Compassion Canada By Roberto Medrano At 17-years-old the day seemed like any other for Jose Perez. Life was a day-to-day affair in “Los Palones,” a mountain village located 35 miles south of San Salvador. Go to school, see your friends at the Compassion project, and then help mom and dad with the chore of raising 9 children. But on this day, while walking with younger brother Nahum to purchase corn flour for his mother Maria, Jose suddenly found himself surrounded, shackled, and carted off to jail by the Special Forces of the El Salvadorian National Police. Nothing spoken.No Miranda Rights. Just a quick arrest at the side of a dusty road.The scene in and of itself is not entirely uncommon in El Salvador where thousands of teenagers terrorize communities in criminally motivated gangs. The difference in this case, however, is that Jose Perez is not a gang member, but rather a Compassion-sponsored child with outstanding performance at school and in the child development centre.Earlier on the same day, local police were rounding up gang members involved in the extortion of a businessman in the community. During the mission, the police got involved in a shootout and one policeman was seriously injured. The gang was able to escape so the police besieged Los Palones in an effort to capture all involved.Maria was unaware of the situation. “I did not know what was going on, I heard a shooting but I thought it was far from here. We did not have any food. That was the reason I gave Jose $0.15 and sent him with Nahum to buy corn flour to make Atol (flour soup).”According to the police, Jose was arrested because witnesses revealed that the man shooting at the police had been wearing camouflage pants. Unfortunately for Jose, he also wore camouflage pants on that day: the only evidence for his capture.After hearing from young Nahum what had happened, Jose’s father ran after the police. Maria ran to The Good Shepherd Assemblies of God church: the Compassion partner that had introduced this family to Jesus and assisted in Jose’s development.“She came desperate and screaming, we were extremely concerned too because we knew Jose was innocent: he preaches the word of God here. He was an instrument to bring his family to church, and he is also an outstanding student in the centre. Besides, that afternoon he was helping his mother at home,” says Sonia Hernandez, the project’s director. The project staff immediately accompanied the family by taxi to the Police Station in order to find out about Jose’s situation.As bizarre as it might seem from a western context, the police affirmed that Jose’s camouflage pants alone indicated that he was involved in the extortion and the shooting, and therefore would be jailed until trial where he could attempt to prove his innocence. The police also refuted Jose’s alibi, noting that the testimony of family did not count. Extortion is one of the ways gangs finance their criminal activities, so the punishment is severe. Even as a minor, Jose was facing a prison sentence of 7-15 years. “When you are poor, you don’t find a way out of these situations. I am a day worker and I have to support my 9 children and my wife. We did not have any money to support Jose in that situation. That’s why I am very thankful with the project’s workers, they were like angels for us. They were with us night and day. Even the other children were praying for us,” Jose’s father declared.The project staff was anguished that a student such as Jose - a very cooperative young man with many dreams for his future – would find himself in this situation. “We were very worried. Jose was in a prison 20 miles south from here. His father traveled every day to see him. We also visited him. We gave him food and we also gave him a bible. It was very hard to see him in jail. We knew he was innocent, but his legal situation was very complicated,” Sonia remembers.Sharing a 5-foot by 7-foot jail cell with two gang members accused of murder and rape, Jose initially found himself in despair. “It was very hard for me, I was very sad. Some policemen even told me that I was going to jail all my life because I wanted to kill a policeman. I knew I was innocent but they didn’t believe me. I didn’t know why God placed me in that situation, but Sonia visited me and told me that God was going to use that situation for my own good.” Although his situation was difficult, Jose turned to two of the most important things he had learned at the project: prayer and sharing the gospel with others. Not knowing why God would allow him to be taken from his family, he relied on his faith to see him through.Back at home, Juan Soto, the lawyer assigned to Jose’s case, began looking for evidence that proved Jose was not a gang member, not a criminal, and not involved in the shootout with police. Hearing of Compassion from Jose’s parents, Juan went to the project to learn about Jose’s participation in the development programs. The child development workers immediately showed him Jose’s profile.The child profile is a record kept of every Compassion-sponsored child detailing all aspects of the child’s life: birth certificate; medical check-ups; sponsor’s gifts; pictures of activities in the project; school grades; and academic accomplishments, amongst other things.When the lawyer saw Jose’s profile, he enthusiastically declared: “This is the key!” Jose’s child profile held two key pieces of evidence that Juan would later use in trial. First there were pictures of Jose preaching, studying and taking part in the project’s programs. In a twist of irony that only God can provide, there was even a picture of Jose in the tailoring program… making the camouflage pants worn on the day of his arrest. Second, the lawyer discovered “My Plan for Tomorrow”.My Plan for Tomorrow is a document that Compassion-sponsored teenagers use to plan their future. In the manual they not only write their dreams and goals, but they also outline the steps they will take to turn those dreams into reality.Jose’s lawyer stated, “For me, it was obvious Jose was innocent, but the situation was very thorny: there was a policeman injured, and the police wanted somebody to pay for it. However, the only evidence was his pants. He does not have a gang tattoo and he is well-known in the community as a Christian boy.” The day of Jose’s trial all the sponsored children from ES 704 were praying for Jose and some child development workers attended the trial. They were outside the court praying for Jose’s life.Sonia Hernandez said “We were in our kneels, lifting up our hands and praying for him because we knew God was going to do something. Some people stared at us, but we did not care!” The District Attorney’s Office presented the evidences they had against Jose: wrong place, wrong time, wrong pants. They even asked for a very strict sentence for him to send a message into the community. Then, Jose’s lawyer, Juan Soto took his turn and addressed the prosecuting attorneys: “Before you say one more word, please see this (He handed around Jose’s profile). This is Jose’s profile; he is part of a Compassion development project. Please see Jose when he joined the project when he was a child; see him preaching the bible months ago; see his grades because he is an “A” student; please also note that the camouflage pants that you have used as your strongest evidence were made by himself in the tailoring program. Does a gang member make his own clothing? Does a criminal preach the Bible to other teenagers? In addition, please glance over the book My Plan for Tomorrow: find out Jose’s dream. He wants to be a (mechanic), and his plan to accomplish it is to get only excellent grades and to get a scholarship. Do you think the boy you captured is the same cruel criminal that shot at the police? Gentleman, please do not send an innocent young man to jail. Do not prevent him from accomplishing his dreams. I tell you the truth; I strongly believe that if all the Salvadorian teenagers would have access to a program like Compassion, this country wouldn’t be the same!”The attorneys were astonished; they looked at each other. Jose’s Mother recalls that “It was like they were ashamed”.After the lawyer’s defense. The chief prosecuting attorney asked permission to talk and said that The District Attorney’s Office would immediately retire all the charges.The Judge supported that decision and declared Jose innocent. Maria ran to hug her son… a hug of a relieved and loving mother. Jose was released immediately and was received as a hero by the sponsored children of The Good Shepherd church.At 17-years-old, Jose’s mature view of the situation is somewhat overwhelming: “God knows His plans. Although being in jail was really awful, my cellmate accepted Jesus and my family saw how the project loves me. I am happy after all.”

He was set free because of the Compassion Project file but more importantly because of Jesus!!

Filling them with faith

Roberto told another story of a 9 year old boy named Carlos who was diagnosed with a brain tumor and because of Compassion and the resources, Carlos had all the medical help he needed or would have needed...When the family went to the hospital for testing, the machine for the test was not working, the doctor said come back in one month but no later because it is very important that you are here..your son could die. During the next month Carlos, his family and everyone at the project prayed for his healing..when they went back in one month for the testing, the doctors were shocked and amazed to look at the MRI/ CAT scan results there was nothing there, the tumor that had taken up almost half his brain was compleyely gone. (Roberto showed us pictures of the scan and his family and carlos) Carlos is now 3 years older and perfectly healthy. Carlos was healed in part because of the faith that his family had in Jesus and his power to heal.

Well those are the notes from Roberto's first talk....there are more to come but for now I have run out of time!!

Friday, June 22, 2007


Over the last few months God has been some crazy things on the inside of me!! I have had to do things and ask for help for things where in the past I would have just bottled up and buried deep inside the caverns of my heart and soul. I would appreciate your prayers, as I work through things and learn to live with what God has given me. I want to say that I do feel blessed to have friends around me that I know love and care for me. Both old and NEW friends!! I feel very blessed to be given the chance at a new job too!! For those that haven't heard I quit my job on Monday afternoon....and got a new job the very same day!! God is good!! I know that that I was where I was for a reason and that my leaving has a purpose too!! I am VERY excited about what God is gonna do in and through me as I take this step out.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Who I am....

I am Christine Alana Marie Collison
I am Christi
I am a daughter
I am a granddaughter
I am a Goddaughter
I am a sister
I am a friend
I am a teacher
I am a leader
I am a caregiver
But above all these things, most importantly, in Christ:
I am the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13)
I am the light of the world (Matthew 5:14)
I am a child of God (John 1:12)
I am part of the true vine, a channel of Christ's life (John 15:1,5)
I am Christ's friend (John 15:1)
I am chosen and appointed by Christ to bear his fruit (John 15:16)
I am a slave of righteousness (Romans 6:18)
I am a daughter of God; God is spiritually my Father (Romans 8:14,15; Galatians 3:26; 4:6)
I am a joint heir with Christ, sharing His inheritance with Him (Romans 8:17)
I am a temple, a dwelling place, of God. His Spirit and His life dwell in me (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19)
I am united to the Lord and am one spirit with Him (1 Corinthians 6:17)
I am a member of Christ's Body (1 Corinthians 12:27; Ephesians 5:30)
I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
I am reconciled to God and am a minister of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18,19)
I am a daughter of God and one in Christ (Galatians 3:26,28)
I am an heir of God since I am a daughter of God (Galatians 4:6,7)
I am a saint (Ephesians 1:1; 1 Corinthians 1:2; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:2)
I am God's workmanship, His handiwork, born anew in Christ to do His work (Ephesians 2:10)
I am a fellow citizen with the rest of God's family (Ephesians 2:1)
I am a prisoner of Christ (Ephesians 3:1; 4:1)
I am righteous and holy through Christ (Ephesians 4:24)
I am a citizen of heaven, seated in heaven right now (Philippians 3:20; Ephesians 2:6)
I am hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3)
I am an expression of the life of Christ because He is my life (Colossians 3:4)
I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved (Colossians 3:12; Thessalonians 1:4)
I am a daughter of light and not of darkness (1 Thessalonians 5:5)
I am a holy partaker of a heavenly calling (Hebrews 3:1)
I am a partaker of Christ; I share in His life (Hebrews 3:14)
I am one of God's living stones, being built up in Christ as a spiritual house (1 Peter 2:5)
I am a member of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession (1 Peter 2:9,10)
I am an alien, stranger to this world in which I temporarily live (1 Peter 2:11)
I am an enemy of the devil (1 Peter 5:8)
I am a child of God and I will resemble Christ when He returns (1 John 3:1,2)
I am born of God, and the evil one cannot touch me (1 John 5:18)

If I have missed anything I would love for you to help me compelete the list....who are you? Tell me about you....Blessings Christi

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Welcome to the World Emilee Renee Synesael!!

I had the wonderful opportunity to spend a few hours up at the hospital today with Chris and Kellee and their new bundle of joy. She is so beautiful!! It is so crazy to think how it works....I know the scientific reasons for it all..but that tiny little angel in my arms there was created by God, as He gently and delicately wove each tiny part of her body. He knows how many hairs are on her head now and what will be on her head in 5 years from now. He knew before any of us did that Chris and Kellee were going to be blessed with a little girl, and He knows who that little girl will one day marry.

(me spending some time with Emilee)

(A VERY proud Mommy & Daddy with Baby Emilee)
(Chris holding his new daughter!)

Well, I guess I should really head to bed, but as I sit here and listen to the cd playing in my stereo I think the words of the song are fitting for a conclusion for tonight. God Bless!

A Mother's Prayer
I pray You'll be my eyes
and watch her where she goes,
and help her to be wise,
help me to let go.
Every mother's prayer
every child knows
lead her to a place,
guide her with Your grace
to a place where she'll be safe.
I pray she finds Your Light
and holds it in her heart.
As darkness falls each night,
remind her where You are.
Every mother's prayer
every child knows,
need to find a place,
guide her to a place,
give her faith so she'll be safe.
Lead her to a place,
guide her with Your grace,
to a place where she'll be safe.
(David Foster and Carole Bayer Sager)